May 8, 2019

Campbell family gives $10 million to UC Riverside

Gift will support access and opportunity in college education

Author: J.D. Warren
May 8, 2019

The University of California, Riverside today announced a $10 million gift from Rochelle A. Campbell and Allison Campbell. The gift from the mother-daughter philanthropists is tied for the largest ever to the university from individual donors and will support access and opportunity across the university’s disciplines for students and parents of limited means.

Past gifts from the Campbell family have benefited the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS). Their new commitment is divided among CNAS, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS), and across campus, including for scholarships and internships.

"We continue to be impressed by UCR's commitment to breaking down barriers to student success,” said Allison Campbell. “My mother and I are excited to support the university's efforts to ensure that all students have the opportunity to reach their full academic potential, even when real life gets in the way."

The gift includes:

  • Endowed term chairs in CNAS and CHASS.
  • Support for early childhood education and college students who are balancing parenthood with their academic careers.
  • Endowment of the Neil Campbell Center for Plant Cell Biology (CEPCEB) Undergraduate Student Award Fund to provide critical scholarship support to promising young scientists in perpetuity.
  • Support for the Science to Policy certificate program, which prepares graduate students for advocacy related to their research.
  • Graduate student support for fellowships and dissertations.
  • Undergraduate scholarships, summer internships, and study abroad programs.

“The Campbell family’s latest pledge to UCR carries special meaning because it focuses on those students most in need of support during their time in college,” said Provost Cynthia K. Larive. “Students who need help with tuition, income, and living expenses will be buoyed by the Campbells’ gift, as well as students who are balancing the demands of parenthood while seeking to earn a degree. This gift is going to bring positive change to many lives, for a long time to come.”

Past gifts from the Campbell family include:

  • In 2010, to create the Neil A. Campbell Science Learning Laboratory, on the ground floor of Campbell Hall, as home to Susan Wessler’s Dynamic Genome Program. Wessler, a distinguished professor of genetics, is creator of The Dynamic Genome.
  • In 2014, the Neil and Rochelle Campbell Presidential Chair for Innovation in Science Education. Wessler is the chair holder.
  • In 2018, $1 million with Wessler to create the Campbell-Wessler Endowed Undergraduate Research Award, which provides $5,000 awards to undergraduate researchers affiliated with the Neil A. Campbell Science Learning Laboratory and The Dynamic Genome Program in CNAS.

Neil Campbell was a 1975 UCR Ph.D. graduate, named in 2001 a “Distinguished Alumnus,” the highest award given by the UCR Alumni Association, for being an exceptional educator and supporter of science education. He is a co-author of “Biology,” known as the most widely read introductory English-language biology textbook in the world. After his passing in 2004, his wife, Rochelle Campbell, has continued to provide philanthropic support to UCR along with their daughter, Allison Campbell.

Support from the Campbell family has been instrumental to the success of the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Living the Promise: The Campaign for UC Riverside.”

Approaching 80 percent of its $300 million goal, the university has secured nearly $240 million in gifts toward the effort, which will conclude in 2020. Campaign gifts will help students, support faculty and their research and creative activities, build new infrastructure around campus, and fund endowed chairs, research, and university programs.

Rochelle Campbell, who serves on the UCR Foundation Board of Trustees, retired from the San Bernardino Unified School District after working for 30 years as an adult counselor. Allison Campbell, who serves on the Board of Trustees, works for the Washington State Historical Society.

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